Whether you are a seasoned cat owner or a novice starting a new adventure, we are here to help you care for your cat.
We are a certified Cat Friendly Practice, meaning we have completed a self-assessment checklist that shows we have incorporated the standard criteria for our practice to be cat friendly. The program’s standards are research-based and represent the highest standards of feline medical care. To become certified, veterinary hospitals must meet the criteria on the checklist, review all provided educational materials and designate a Cat Advocate at the practice. Our Cat Care Clinic Director is Dr. Brian Ashmore and our Cat Care Clinic Cat Advocate is Kate Dial, CVT.
“Dr Ashmore and Kate Dial were excellent. Careful with my nervous kitty, and even more considerate of me, the worried human! The entire visit was explained to me, what they would do, why, what might be next. I felt informed and confident in their ability. And my kitty was not overly stressed, as Dr Ashmore is very careful and competent with difficult cats.”
-Roberta & John Phin
Caring for Your Cat
At Animal Health Services of Cave Creek’s Cat Care Clinic, we celebrate the health of our cats, which includes prioritizing preventative healthcare. Routine exams and, when necessary, routine diagnostics, help us look for the most common diseases that affect our furry friends.
Preventive Feline Care
Food, water, toys, litter box and kitty tower: check! You’re now just about ready to give your new feline friend a great home and lots of love. But don’t forget regular trips to the vet, too.
Whether your cat is young or old, lives indoors only or takes trips outside too, he needs to receive regular veterinary care. Thorough physical exams may reveal diseases that are difficult for untrained people to notice. Cats are great at hiding their ailments, and it’s not unusual for diseases to progress without owners realizing it. It is always better for us to find disease early than to try playing catch up once it has a firm hold. Common health problems found in routine exams include dental disease, enlarged thyroid glands, muscle loss, back pain and heart murmurs.
Cat Grooming and Coat Care
Most cats are considered medium- or natural-coated, with the exception of the Cornish Rex, which is a true feline short coat, and have one primary hair and between 12 to 24 secondary hairs in each hair follicle. The denser the coat, the softer the fur! Cats absorb 30% more through their skin than we do, and because of this, they should not be shaved. Shaving removes their first line of defense against bacteria and pollutants, leaves the skin unprotected against UV rays and disrupts their ability to regulate body temperature. Cats’ natural coats are great at keeping them cool or warm, depending on the environment.
Cats should be brushed regularly to keep their fur from matting and to eliminate unnecessary overcoat and any shedded hair. Your cat also likely needs to be bathed regularly. Feline friends should be brushed before bathing to remove any excess hair and to prepare the coat for the cleanser. Cats should be bathed with a quality shampoo and conditioner every two months. Otherwise, cats ingest all of the dirt, oil, pollution and toxins that are left on their coats by the environment.
When bathing, massage shampoo into the coat, being careful not to go against the grain of the hair. Going against the grain will stimulate the glands in the skin and will cause them to overproduce oil, which can make your pet smelly. Always be sure to wash the belly, armpits and feet very well, as these are places that have a greater number of oil producing glands. After your entire pet is lathered, let them rest a minute or two, then rinse well. Letting the shampoo rest allows it to do its job, preventing you from having to repeat the shampoo cycle. Apply balsam as well, letting it rest on the pet for a minute or two and, then brushing the balsam through the coat to loosen shedding hair. Rinse well.
Towel dry your pet friend, making sure you are not going against the grain of hair. When your cat is damp to dry, use a brush to remove tangles and loose undercoat.
Every few days, brush your cat to remove dust and dirt and to keep their natural oils spread throughout their coat. Clip nails every three to four weeks.